Today, there are a wide and ever-increasing variety of options available for marketing your senior living services and generating qualified leads. Traditional marketing methods such as print, radio, direct mail, outdoor and special events still have a valuable place in reaching your audience. But now there are a multitude of new options available that can further enhance your ability to attract and engage senior living audiences. These include email marketing, digital advertising, blogging, paid search and social advertising, mobile (iPhone) marketing and social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and YouTube.
Says Jason McCloud, Executive Director of Integrated Marketing & Communications at SageAge Strategies, “Having more options for communicating with your audience is a good thing, but it can also make deciding on the right strategy more complex and challenging. While there is no silver bullet formula for creating a successful Integrated Marketing campaign, there are proven steps that senior living marketers can take to maximize prospect engagement and campaign effectiveness.”
5 Key Steps to Building a Successful Integrated Marketing Campaign
Step 1: Know Your Audience
As a first step in developing an Integrated Marketing strategy, it’s important to clearly identify who your audience is – both from a demographic and psychographic (i.e. attitudes, interests and behaviors) standpoint. This will enable you to fine tune messages that will resonate most effectively with your audience as well as identify the best communication channels to reach them. Audiences may include, but are not limited to, senior prospects, their adult children, other family caregivers and professional referral sources for senior living services.
The process of identifying your audience(s) should include the following questions: Who are the primary users of our services? What are their primary needs and motivations? Are there other audiences that play a role in the decision-making process for our services? How do these target audiences prefer to receive their information? Which marketing channels are they using, offline and online?
All of these questions should be answered before attempting to develop your Integrated Marketing strategy. Once your target market(s) is defined, you can further segment your audience by specific personas and match each with the marketing channels that each persona is known to prefer. Today, primary and secondary research can be helpful in discerning the unique characteristics of various senior living buyer personas.
Step 2. Build Your Content and Message Around Customer Priorities
Today, content marketing is considered a bellwether business strategy by growth experts inside and outside the senior living space.
A content-based Integrated Marketing strategy enables you to identify and optimize your community’s messages based on the features, benefits and advantages that are viewed as most relevant and helpful by senior living audiences. Remember, your content is only useful to your prospects – and beneficial to you – if it responds directly to what they want to hear.
To help you identify your most useful content from a customer’s perspective, ask yourself the following: What are the most pressing problems and issues they’re dealing with? How can we make their lives easier and better? What questions and concerns do they have? What information is most important to them? How can we meet their needs more effectively than other senior living competitors?
Once you have the answers to these questions, you can tailor your content to each specific audience and reference the specific programs and services your community offers that provide solutions to their needs.
Step 3: Identify Optimal Marketing Channels
The large number of marketing and communication channels available to marketers today, both offline and online, have created more opportunities than ever for providers to engage and inform the customer.
At the same time, to ensure campaign success, it’s paramount that you identify the most effective marketing channels for each targeted audience based on their known behavior. For example, research has shown 73% of baby boomers own and use a smartphone vs. 46% of seniors (Pew Research). Given that knowledge, you might want to target adult children on mobile devices, while targeting seniors on desktop computers.
When identifying marketing channels, it’s important to ask the following questions: Is your target customer online or offline? Do they follow certain brands? What media outlets are they reading? Regardless of how your target audiences engage media, it’s imperative that you know which marketing channels will engage them most effectively to maximize exposure to your brand and optimize your leads.
Step 4: Maintain a Consistent Visual Identity and Message
Making sure your visual identity is consistent across all marketing tactics and channels is vital to the success of any Integrated Marketing plan.
Visual identity is more than just your logo. It entails having a consistent and cohesive design (look and feel), on all marketing communications – online and offline. Everything should reinforce the perception that it came from the same organization and brand. A customer reading your email, direct mail piece, newspaper ad or website article should make an immediate visual connection to your brand.
Step 5: Ensure That Your Message and Tactics Are Fully Integrated
Last but not least, it is critical that all marketing messages and tactics are linked together to drive customers to your ultimate target, whether it’s your website or social media pages. Furthermore, all marketing tactics, offline and online, should include unique links and tracking phone numbers that point and track customers through each stage of your campaign.
For example, your print and direct mail advertisements should include dedicated tracking phone numbers and “vanity” URLs that point customers to dedicated landing pages on your website. In addition, your emails, online display and social media advertisements should also link to these dedicated landing pages on your website. In short, all marketing tactics need to link to the same end points online (dedicated landing pages on your website) and offline (dedicated phone numbers) to capture customer engagement and interest in your brand.
Jason adds, “The bottom line? It’s creating an Integrated Marketing plan that provides a consistent, context-based message that responds directly to your customers’ problems and needs, that is translated effectively across all selected marketing channels and provides your community with a powerful tool for achieving your Integrated Marketing objectives.”
In the final article of our three-part series, we will discuss “How Integrated Marketing Can Boost Sales Conversions and Occupancy.”
SageAge Strategies: Leaders in Integrated Marketing and Lead Generation Solutions
At SageAge Strategies, our marketing team excels in the latest senior living best practices such as Integrated Marketing strategy that increase quality lead generation and grow your occupancy. If you need assistance in any areas of marketing and integrated growth strategy to improve your business results, we invite you to contact us today to learn more about our proven strategies that have transformed other senior living communities like yours.
SageAge Strategies is a multiple-award-winning, strategic growth, marketing and consulting organization that operates exclusively in the unique senior living marketplace for 35 years. For more information, please call or email Jason McCloud at 614-795-7373 / [email protected]. You can also visit us on our website at https://sageage.wpengine.com/.